Royals

One of Duchess Meghan’s ‘British friends’ who advised her against marrying Prince Harry has spoken out

“I said, ‘This is serious. This is the end of your normal life, the end of your privacy – everything.’”

The Duchess of Sussex's former friend and agent Gina Nelthorpe-Cowne has revealed she warned Meghan against marrying Prince Harry during the early days of their relationship, warning her she didn't know what she was getting herself in to.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Gina says the former Suits actress was "naïve" when it came with dealing with the British press and tabloids and that she had predicted how overwhelmed she would have felt if she married into the royal family.
Meghan's former friend and agent Gina says she warned Meghan against marrying Harry. (Image: Instagram/@ginakrugco)
Gina's revelation follows the airing of an ITV documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey in which Meghan confessed, among other things, that she had been warned by her British friends not to marry Prince Harry and that the tabloids would "destroy" her life – and it seems Gina was one of them.
"I knew the documentary was on but I made a decision not to watch it," Gina, who is the director at London-based talent agency Kruger Cowne, told the Daily Mail.
However, she says she's read about what the documentary discussed, including Prince Harry finally addressing the rumoured rift with his brother Prince William, as well as Meghan discussing her struggles with the constant media scrutiny.
"I did speak to Meghan about the British media and it was clear that she didn't know what she was letting herself in for," Gina says.
"She was naïve. I still think that now."
Meghan (left) and Gina (right) pictured in 2016. (Image: Instagram/@ginakrugco)
And it's a something that Duchess Meghan has recently admitted herself, in the recent documentary.
When asked by ITV News presenter Tom Bradby how the last year had been for her, Meghan replied simply, "It's hard," before elaborating: "I don't think anybody can understand that but in all fairness, I had no idea," she confesses.
"Which probably sounds difficult to understand [in the UK], but when I first met my now-husband my friends were so happy because I was happy, but my British friends said to me, 'I'm sure he's great but you shouldn't do it, because the British tabloids will destroy your life,'" she said.
"I didn't get it."
She adds, however, that she never thought marrying into the royal family would be easy, but says she thought it would at least be fair.
"That's the part that really hard to reconcile."
WATCH: Duchess Meghan says she never thought royal life would be easy. Story continues below...
While Gina tells the Daily Mail that at first, she had been incredibly excited for Meghan – the two sat down for lunch just hours before Meghan and Harry met for the first time – as things started to become more serious between Harry and Meghan, Gina expressed her concern for her friend, but says at the time Meghan didn't want to hear any negativity.
"I said, 'This is serious. This is the end of your normal life, the end of your privacy – everything,'" Gina recalls.
"But she held up her and said: 'Stop. I don't want to hear any negativity. This is a happy time for us.'"
Gina says she hasn't had any contact with Meghan since Meghan retired from acting and ended their professional relationship, a week before the soon-to-be royal announced her engagement to Prince Harry in 2017.
Meghan (left) pictured with former US talk show host Jay Leno, Gina and Meghan's best friend Jessica Mulroney (right) in 2016. (Image: Instagram/@ginakrugco)
The 38-year-old attended the 10th Annual One Young World Summit in London at the Royal Albert Hall, where she is one of 70 counsellors who will help to mentor and drive discussion among the 2000-strong young leaders at the summit.
Meghan looked radiant as she stepped out for her first engagement since the airing of her and Harry's emotional documentary. (Image: Getty)
While this is her first time attending the summit as Vice-President of The Queens Commonwealth Trust, it's an event that she's been to several times, having taken part at the 2014 summit in Dublin and the 2016 summit in Ottawa, Canada.
It's undoubtedly been an emotionally-draining week for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as the reception of their new documentary has been met by very varying opinions, so we're sure they're looking forward to their extended break next month, where they're said to be travelling to the US with almost six-month-old Archie to spend Thanksgiving with Meghan's mother Doria Ragland, before returning to the UK to spend Christmas with the royal family in Sandringham.